“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know … his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come” (Ephesians 1:18-21).
There are a few things I know about God’s power from these verses:
Like intimacy with God, Paul prays that my heart and mind would have an ever growing understanding of the access I have to an incomparably great power in Christ. Throughout my life he speaks an ancient prayer to the Father asking for a growing understanding, a continuous action of this dynamic force in my life.
This power is incomparable to any other power I can imagine. I was in Portland in the early 80’s when Mount St. Helens erupted several times. As a city and a nation we watched in awe at the evening news as pictures and firsthand accounts were beginning to come in. Multiple cities in the Northwest were blanketed with ash – the remains of the inner bowels of a mountain. I have had opportunity to get up close to the mountain a few times since these initial blasts, which has magnified my perception of the amount of energy needed for the side of this great mountain to be removed. Magnified as it may be, I still “see in a mirror dimly” the might required to accomplish such a cataclysmic blast…. Well, apparently the power I (we) have access to through Christ is greater still – if I believe. Amazing!
Even more amazing is that this power in me is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead and established His dominion over all other powers of the universe. Think of what was at stake in the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. All the evil powers of Hell were called to action to prevent death from being defeated. They were no match. Those same dark forces are engaged in trying to prevent me from living a resurrected life. Thankfully, the same power of God used to raise Jesus is at hand for me and I have been raised from the death and devastation of my sin.
Yet, in spite of what I have been given – an unimaginable power – I still live day to day as if this power were a knick-knack on a shelf – pretty to look at but serving no real purpose. I, more often than not, run on my own capacity rather than on the promise of power given me by the Maker of All Power! I choose the covered wagon with a broken axle stuck in the mud rather than the Ferrari.
Oh the absurdity!
But my inner man really wants the Ferrari! I want the power of God in my life to be released. I want to love supernaturally. I want to do the unexpected. Where there is death I want to be an instrument of life. Where there is cursing I want to be a blessing. Where there is sin I want to extend mercy and forgiveness 70×7. When my brother or sister disappoints me I want to still believe that there is something greater in them and God will be faithful to release it. I want to be slow to judge, but discerning when a clear word is needed. When I am hated I want to be at peace with the hater. I want to have a heart formed by joy – even in the midst of great sorrow. I want to be salt. I want to be light. I want to be slow to anger and speech and quick to listen. I want my heart to be pure, undistracted from all that draws my eyes away from seeing Jesus. I want to be undivided in my affections. I want my marriage to be marked by ever growing intimacy and void of indifference. I want my good works to be done in such a way that I remain obscure and Father receives His due. I want to believe that in this great power I can say to this mountain move and it will be done. I want my mind to be shaped by the mind of God. I want to be a man of faith, anxious for nothing. I want to keep on asking; keep on seeking; keep on knocking for the riches Father wants to impart to me. I want to believe that God is always a good Father. This is the Rock I want my house built upon.
“And all this is from God…”
“O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing ; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.” A.W. Tozer, Pursuit of God”